GENUINE and consistent filly Palace Gold picked up her first Open Allowance company victory when she outgunned both Noon It Is and Mr Skill in the $786,500 purse three-year-old upward speed-fest by 1 1/4 lengths at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Second-generation trainer Howard Jaghai, who prepared the filly for owners WB Racing, was not for a moment surprised by the victory. "This is her first win in Open company, but it was only a matter of time before it happened. She is a filly who has tremendous pace and does not have to lead, and with the amount of speed present in the race, I thought that she had as good a chance as any of the other runners," he said.
Leaving the 800 metres pole, Palace Gold, well supported as a 3-1 bet with Paul Francis astride, moved into a good position, third, to take note as Mr Skill, ridden by Shane Ellis, and Noon It Is, ridden by Omar Walker, dictated fractions.
At the 500m mark it was Noon It Is who looked the stronger of the two as she began to rub shoulders with Mr Skill. Noon It Is, the 1-4 favourite, eventually took over the lead to bring them in the lane narrowly ahead, followed by Palace Gold and Smokin Man, ridden by the claiming apprentice Prince Holder, in that order.
As they set down for the drive, Noon It Is was engaged in a tussle along the rails with the 7-2 chance, Mr Skill, to maintain her lead as Palace Gold began to gather momentum in deep stretch like a gathering storm, then exploded like a bolt of lightning past them to secure the victory close home. The time was a handy 1:05 flat for 1,100m.
In the rush for the minor placings, Noon It Is was second by a short head over Mr Skill, with Smokin Man completing the frame at odds of 18-1 in the field of seven.
Palace Gold, an ultra-consistent four-year-old chestnut filly by Traditional out of Awry (Homebuilder) and bred by Clayans Rowe, was winning for the eighth time from 31 career starts comprising eight second- and seven third-place finishes and earned $429,400 as the winner's share for a bankroll of $5,177,800 lifetime.